Thanks for the link OP. Interesting lecture.
Originally Posted by secondopinion
No - Ireland doesn't need a military. What it needs is proper history lessons in it's schools and political re-education so that it's people can learn to accept that it's borders aren't going to change.
I have no idea what you mean by proper
history lessons. Are you suggesting that kids be thought some fluffy-wuffy version of history with all the nasty bits taken out? If so that ain't history your teaching.
Irish history has one important lesson regarding the military, If the military aren't up to scratch you get your arse kicked. The Vikings, the Normans, the English, the Scots have all invaded Ireland. The French, the Spanish and Nazi Germany all had plans to do so at one stage or another.
Or if you want to look at our more recent history what do you think would have happened if we had no military during the troubles? The IRA would have had pretty much a free hand to do what ever they wanted in the Republic. I think it wouldn't have taken too long for the British Army to start popping across the border to try and sort the problem for themselves like the Americans are doing in Northern Pakistan.
It's only 14 years since the Good Friday Agreement. The ownership of a hefty chunk of this island is still a matter of some dispute. There are still crazy subversive groups running around planting bombs in town centres claiming that they are the legitamate army of the state. In the event of a potential future vote for re-unification of Ireland I believe that there are plenty of people on the loyalist side who would not take take this lying down. In my opinion Ireland is the only Western European state that faces a credible prospect of a low-intensity conflict within its own borders in the medium term. Should this happen you don't want to have a newly re-formed military that have to learn on the job.
As for the Defence Forces role in peace keeping missions, I believe this has been a great credit to the state. Too often our lads have been sent out without the right equipment and have suffered casulaties because of it. Yet they have stuck with the task and they got the job done. One of the few worthwhile things that the Fianna Fail government did was to provide the Defence Forces with much needed modern equipment. They could probably do with a lot more. In a world where the population is rocketing and resources (food, water, fuel etc.) are becoming ever more scarce I would think that there will probably an increased need for peace-keeping missions in the future.
As for your suggestion regarding political re-education, I am utterly bewildered. We live in a democracy, therefore, the state doesn't get to dictate how it's citizens think.